Sunday, April 13, 2014

Visiting the Renovated Flight Control Room for NASA's Orion Spacecraft

Mission Operations Director Paul Hill talks to the media as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa visit Mission Control in the newly renovated and historic White Flight Control Room, which will be used to support NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

The mission patches that adorn the walls reflect the control room's previous use in the Space Shuttle Program.

Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and Mars. 

It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. 

Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), planned for December 2014, will be Orion's first mission.

EFT-1 will send an uncrewed spacecraft 3,600 miles above the Earth for a two-orbit flight that will give engineers the chance to verify its design and test some of the systems most critical for the safety of the astronauts who will fly on it in the future.

After traveling 15 times farther into space than the International Space Station, Orion will return to Earth at speeds near 20,000 mph, generating temperatures of up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Image Credit: NASA

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